First Encounter.

When I woke this morning, I felt as if someone was pressing their thumb into my mind, trying to impress a white indentation of a message. The clouds were hanging low in the sky, and the lush smell of rain smoothed my mood into a calm, peaceful state. On the drive to work, the pressing thumb didn’t give up. I was walking into work, admiring how beautiful the endless wall of glass of windows looked as they reflected the scarlet clouds and rising sun when the message finally popped through:
I am Love.

It took me off guard, but settled into my heart like a pet finding it’s home. As the hours passed, I would come to understand the full meaning of this message.

I wasn’t supposed to work today, it was an extra shift. I wasn’t supposed to be sitting today, because I sat two days ago. Yet here I was, sitting for a patient with shocking resemblance to my father. His daughter was with him, who reminded me of an older version of myself when I had sat by my father’s bedside. As the morning progressed, his condition showed rapid improvement. Not only could he understand me and recognize his daughter, but he could follow commands, speak, read, and write. With such great strides, the daughter changed his status from DNR to full code. Shortly after, he began to decline, and a MET team was called. As the swarm of doctors and nurses flooded into the room, I caught a glimpse of his daughter sitting alone in the corner, watching them huddle over her father. I squeezed my way through the crowd and sat beside her, unsure of what to say. Suddenly words were flowing out of my mouth, recounting stories of her father’s strength and fighting spirit that she had missed while she had been gone earlier. I told her about how brave he had been as they bridled his MFT, squeezing his eyes shut and gritting through the pain. We spoke of his stubbornness, and laughed about how he has always been a fighter. After they intubated him and wheeled him out, I offered to help her carry her things. I said a few short words and left, and later dropped off some ice cream for her when my shift was over. I’m not sure if she felt annoyed by my gestures or if she would even eat it, but I somehow knew it was what I had to do. After work, I went to the gym and immediately began running on the treadmill (which I never do). I cried while I ran, great heaving sobs, pushing away the tears as they poured out. I cried for her, imagining the pain she must be enduring leaving her two small children in another state to be here for her dad. I felt her uncertainty trying to decide whether to fight for her father’s life, or let him go. I cried for him, such a young man enduring so much grief.

Today was completely mentally and emotionally draining. But this is the work I was meant to do. These are the people I was meant to influence. A greater force than myself drew a circle in the earth long ago, and it is precisely where I am standing.

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